NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER 2018
I am delighted to say that we have had several joyous surprises recently in Hosea’s ministry, after the difficulties resulting from the typhoons hitting the islands of the Philippines.
On my latest Philippines trip I was joined by visitors from Sydney and Canberra - Helena Pekkarinen and Seija Rönneberg. A huge thank you to Sydney's Lutheran church which donated funds for the medical mission just when I thought it was impossible to get funding for this project. A team of doctors from Manila and a pharmacist from Mamburao City came along as part of the project. Several of our Hosea team have been trained in medical aspects and the project went ahead with no hitches. Two dentists also accompanied the team and a pharmaceutical company in Manila donated the medicines needed. Seija brought vitamin drinks with her for the children from a Sydney pharmaceutical company. These vitamin supplements were vital because the children from the tribes suffer from malnutrition. Meals were also provided in several tribal areas of the island. We had also been given quite a number of bibles to pass on, most in English but even some in the Tagalog language. New converts simply don't have bibles there and because our work is progressing fast, the need is great.
We also visited a high school in the Bulalacao area where our young Norwegian evangelist Nathan was invited to preach the gospel and where 80% of the students are from the Mangyan tribe. it was very moving to see these students weeping as they received Jesus into their hearts.
Conversation with Vice Governor on Mindoro
Preaching to the kids
Nathan continued the trip visiting schools in a wide area and found every single school open to the gospel. He received many invitations to return because the results were so significant. He was also invited to speak at a conference of teachers for the whole island and many of the teachers approached him afterwards asking for prayer. I am so delighted and surprised by all that God is doing on the island --such a contrast to schools in the west that are typically closed to the gospel. During the first few days around 500 students came to Christ and the work continues in the schools and prisons. My part of the work continues to be with the folk living in slums: this division of labour suits this Grandma very well - especially to be preaching to the children! These little ones are wonderfully real with some of their comments and it is such fun and joy to me to work with them! Hundreds of children were saved during the trip, with Helena and Seija taking a big part in the evangelism. A big thank you too to Nea from Finland who worked in the youth team. She did great work for Hosea in the Manila area, even though when she first arrived the typhoon hit and prevented her from travelling any further than Batangas. What a dramatic and climactic experience it was for this dear young lady! A third Hosea church has been planted in Manila and also in the tribal area we have established a third working base and church.
During our visit we were also invited to the wedding of one of our teachers, Sharon Sim. The mayor of Mamburao attended the wedding, as well as a surprise guest, who asked me whether I recognised him. He reminded me that we had first met in jail for political prisoners and terrorists. He explained that the prophetic word that I had given him there had come true. I remembered that years earlier when I visited that prison this man had come to me for prayer, but I’d had no idea who he was. The Lord had given me a word for him about Joseph who had also been wrongly imprisoned. The Lord said that like Joseph this man would be released and would take up high office on the island. And this is exactly what happened…. He became deputy governor and now he even governs those people who wrongly accused him in the first place. Our meeting led to a very interesting discussion around God’s goodness and faithfulness to us, even through times of difficulty.
Meeting with the Lord Mayor
Isn't it wonderful how God's word bears fruit and indeed God has done the same through the ministry of Hosea, because he has really opened doors for our work. Of course I know that there is no retirement in the Lord's work but those with younger legs than mine may well find it easier to trek around the mountains and jungles of the island! That is why I want to encourage you to pray for my Norwegian colleague Nathan that he would get sufficient financial supporters to enable him to demonstrate the necessary income requirements for obtaining a residence permit for the Philippines. He already has a visa but in order to get the residence permit he needs to have evidence of sufficient financial income. Award of this permit would make my workload much more reasonable. I would also like to send Nathan to Papua New Guinea to visit the Hosea churches and schools there - the journey would be a lot shorter from the Philippines than from Norway. Nathan has not asked for income for himself but instead he works on the same basis that I do. Of course we have to follow the visa and permit laws of the Philippines so please pray that Nathan receives sufficient support to meet the requirements for residence to be granted.
What I've described is only a tiny fraction of what God has done on Mindoro island. He has opened the doors of revival and touched adults, young people and children across all strata of society. As Psalm 107:35 says “He turned the desert into pools of water and the parched ground into flowing springs”.